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Its a fantastic story. Its well paced and with good detail without being flowery and Jane herself is likeable and not overtly emotional as many heroines of her era were. I remember reading this book for school and having to analyse it line by line which does nothing to endear the classics to students, but now listening to it as an adult, and having it so beautifully narrated was such joy. I found myself driving around the block snd walking for an extra half hour just to listen to it more.
I approached Jane Eyre as a sort of literary castor oil, something I knew I should read one of these days but didn't feel much enthusiasm for. I already knew the basic story, and I'm really not into wish-fulfillment women's fiction, even if it is classic Victorian literature. To my surprise, I rather enjoyed it.
A modern editor would probably have cut much of the last third of the book, in which Jane flees from Thornfield Hall after learning Mr. Rochester's deep dark secret, and then spends many chapters with her new family, the Rivers, and not much happens except that a fortune falls into her lap, she has to entertain a marriage proposal, and then she goes off to find Rochester again and discovers him conveniently widowed and in need of an angelic woman to nurse him back to health. So they live happily ever after, the end.
Okay, there are some more details to the last part of the book that make it worth reading, like the studied contrast between the good and noble but cold and severe St. John Rivers and the hot-blooded romantic bad boy Edward Rochester. I did not like Rochester; he's not as horrible as Heathcliff, the romantic bad boy created by Charlotte's sister Emily in Wuthering Heights, but I think both Bronte sisters had some seriously warped ideas about what made a man desirable. Crazily, passionately in love with you and otherwise amoral and willing to destroy anyone and anything that gets between you? Yes, you can probably blame the Brontes in part for this trope that persists in romantic fantasies to this day. Jane Eyre is totally wish-fulfillment for women who want a Rochester or a Heathcliff to obsess over them. But it's a classic and well-written and while I wouldn't say Charlotte Bronte's understanding of human nature was particularly broad or even enlightened, she had a fine eye for the detailed personalities of her small cast of characters in the little world she created.
So, is Jane Eyre worth reading? Definitely.
I am a Bronte fan and has a hard time picking which Jane Eyre audiobook to pick. I settled on this one after listening to snips and was not disappointed. Thank you Juliet for bringing this book to life.
The book and the narration are so perfect that I tried to treasure every minute of listening to it. Such an interesting story line, such good romance, so well written, and so flawlessly performed. My favorite!
I had always wanted to read this book. Now that I have completed it I am very satisfied.
High School Teacher since '12 Masters Degree in English Lit '18
My first read I enjoyed the second half, my second read I enjoyed the first half.
I have trouble with female readers and british accents in general.
I can't speed the book up how I like.
Child Jane is funny.
I have trouble with female readers and british accents in general.
I'm not a fan of this question.
I enjoy the "free" Jane more than the "in love" Jane. She looses her personality when she falls in love.
Juliet Stevenson is one of the best narrators around. Her formidable acting talents make the many characters and accents fluid and convincing; they come wholly to life. She more than does justice to one of my favorite novels!
Juliet Stevenson is fantastic. I have always liked her as an actress, but I am astounded by her skill as a reader. She moved me to tears a few times. I highly recommend this version.
While Stevenson did a great job throughout, I must say I was in awe of her reading of the passage about Helen Burns' demise. I cried and cried.
Who can choose? So many are great!
We listened in several sittings. My daughter and I don't simply listen; we read along.
I am eager to listen to more of Stevenson's reading of the great novels.
This novel is so well known, I will limit my comments to Juliet Stevenson's reading. Thank you, Juliet Stevenson, for bringing so much understanding and nuance to all the characters. I have read JANE EYRE at least three times before. But thanks to Juliet Stevenson's insightful narration -- using pauses and emphases and intonations at points where I would not have imagined them but which seem exactly right -- listening to this audio book was like reading the books
anew. The character of Jane Eyre emerged for me as a true feminist / humanist hero who refuses to betray her own self and dreams but who also questions herself constantly -- which is how she knows who she is and what matters in life. Juliet Stevenson moves us through these interior inquiries with such great heart and understanding. But she also allows all the other characters to come alive and live before us. Bravo, Ms. Stevenson!
"So profound in its exploration of the human condition"
Hard to believe this was written so long ago. Yet at the same time very interesting to see how things were then, straight out of the horse's mouth. Hard to believe one so young & so isolated could be so profoundly knowing, sensitive to differing human personalities, worldly insights & human motivations. How clever, intellectual & what genius these sisters were. I loved the insights so much I have bought a hard copy to keep. Of course the narrator is too a genius whose narration abilities are beyond supernatural.
I have read this beautiful book several times in my life and wanted to listen to it for a change. Juliet Stevenson's narration is mesmerising. I think I am going to find it hard to listen to a lesser narrator now. She brought the story completely to life, what a wonderful listening experience.
"Juliet Stephenson immaculate performance"
Really enjoyable listen, my first real foray into the classics. Believe Bronze would have approved!
3rd time i have listened to this book i love it and Juliet Steve has the perfect voice
"Fantastic reading of a wonderful novel"
Juliet Stevenson is one of my favourite actresses and her performance here does not disappoint. She really brings the characters to life and does justice to Charlotte Bronte's beautiful prose.
I love this story and have enjoyed it in any medium. This audio version is fantastic, thoroughly enjoyable and incredibly well read. I'll definitely be listening to this over and over.
"Lovely story, could have been half as long"
The language was beautiful and there were bits of this I really enjoyed listening to, but I wasn't gripped.
Narration was first class though.
"Reader, it's magnificently read."
I can't believe I was waited so long to read this book. The prose is wonderful and Stevenson's narration is as good as we could hope for. Despite knowing very roughly the narrative arc, I found the plot full of surprise and devoid of cliché. Next stop, Jean Rhys's Caribbean update Wide Sargasso Sea - not yet available on Audible - hint, hint.
My favourite book read absolutely beautifully by Ms Stevenson. I'll be coming back to this again and again.
"brilliant, classic novel"
Yes, it is a gripping tale that follows her every struggle and obstacle from a little girl all the way into adulthood. The story has so many plot twists, never gets old.
'Why be happy when you could be normal' by Jeanette Winterson is a 20th century novel that, in my opinion, is an almost parallel novel. It traces the struggle of a girl placed into an unwelcoming and adoptive family, and explores the dysfunctional relationships between the protagonist and other characters. Protagonists in both books face life as an outcast in the role they play in society; Jane as a governess and Jeanette as a writer and a homosexual during the sixties. Facing their hardships, both women seek to overcome their oppressors and their labels in society.
Jane, as she is such a dynamic character and her opinions and ways of seeing the world are unique and distinct.
When Jane returns to Rochester after not seeing him for a year, as it was particularly suspenseful.
Both brilliant, and revolutionary books!
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